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Biological Sciences
  • Low-Dose Radiation Impacts Skin Sensitivity

    Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory exposed human skin tissue samples to low doses of ionizing radiation and found that the skin showed perturbations that suggest its stability is altered. This, in turn, could change skin's sensitivity after exposure to insults, such as infection. Understanding the effects of low-dose radiation exposure is important for protecting the population and environment from potentially harmful effects of increased exposures.

  • Journal of Physical Chemistry C cover

    Water and the Changing Structure of Zeolites

    Used extensively in industry today, H-Beta and other zeolites are promising catalysts that turn biomass into transportation fuels, but the activity and stability of this class of materials is challenging to understand and predict. Of particular interest are the aluminum ions in the zeolite lattice. This study, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, provides insight about the dynamic environment around the aluminum atoms.

  • girdled trees in dying forest

    Does Death Stalk the Forest?

    Trees are dying at increasing rates across much of the U.S., surprising forest managers and climate scientists alike. After all, the memories of early 20th century land clearing and logging are fading from today's forests. New research led by PNNL shows that the problem in predicting how forests age may lie in the forest models, not the trees. The trees may be dying from old age, but in general, forests are much more resilient than originally thought.

  • Switching It Up

    PNNL and Washington University researchers now have a clearer picture about how a key process in plants, redox, changes with light. This information will help determine conditions photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria) need to thrive in industrial settings, such as biofuel refineries. They used advanced mass spectrometry to discover >2,100 molecular locations in a cyanobacterium where an amino acid switched redox either on or off when the bacterium was exposed to light or dark. The work significantly expanded the repertoire of known redox changes within cyanobacteria.

  • Justin Teeguarden

    Teeguarden Appointed to National Academies Committee on Chemical Risk

    PNNL toxicologist Justin Teeguarden is serving on a National Academies panel "Incorporating 21st Century Science into Risk-Based Evaluations." This National Research Council panel will provide recommendations on integrating new scientific approaches into risk-based evaluations; specifically, scientific advances occurring after publication of the NRC reports Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy and Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy.

About The Division

Scientists within the Biological Sciences Division perform biological systems science research and develop technologies focused on how cells, cell communities, and organisms sense and respond to their environment. Our vision is to measure, predict, design, and control multi-cellular biological systems and bio-inspired solutions for energy, environment, and health.

Our investigator-initiated and multi-institutional collaborative research, unique scientific instrumentation, and national program leadership translate the latest scientific discoveries into technologies that are beneficial to the nation.

Our research has applications to energy, environment, and human health missions of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other federal agencies.

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Biological Sciences

Seminar Series

Fundamental & Computational Sciences